KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knoxville area Chick-fil-As had lines out the doors and backed up drive-thrus Wednesday on their unofficial appreciation day.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee came up with the idea of appreciation day after a gay rights protest broke out because of Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy's stance on marriage. Cathy said he's "guilty as charged" for opposing same-sex marriage, which has caused a major controversy.
Some people who spoke to 6 News support appreciation day, but others just don't agree.
"I was in line for about 20 minutes and it was crowded in there. There weren't any seats, but I was lucky enough to find a table and meet some really nice people," Melanie Lowry said.
People of all ages are showing their support of Cathy's marriage views.
"I believe the union is between a man and a woman. That's the way I was raised," Doyle Arp said. "People can have other beliefs. The people here are Christian people that own this thing and they believe in the word of the Lord."
However, members of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender communities do not agree with what's going on at the fast food chain.
"No, no I will not be going to Chick-fil-A," said Nancy Mott, with Integrity East Tennessee, an organization that strives for equality for the LGBT community.
She says Cathy's comments about gay marriage have changed her perception of the restaurant. "When he is openly campaigning against my right to be married to the person I love, then at that point I don't want to be supporting him," Mott said.
But many will continue to support the chain. "The line is longer now than it was when I got here. I think this is the Bible Belt, and people believe in what they're doing," Arp said.
Chick-fil-A Executive Vice President of Marketing Steve Robinson issued this response to the controversy: "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was not created by Chick-fil-A. We appreciate all of our customers and are glad to serve them at any time. Our goal is simple: to provide great food, genuine hospitality and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A."
On Friday, August 3, gay activists plan to occupy the tables and booths at Chick-fil-As and stage a "kiss in" to protest the company's support for traditional marriage.